National News

Protesting against NHS closures

by New Worker correspondent

THOUSANDS of local residents in Lewisham, south London, took to the streets in the cold and pouring rain last Saturday to protest at plans to merge Lewisham Hospital with hospitals from the South London NHS trust — which has been declared bankrupt and is in administration.

The changes that would follow from this would mean the closure of accident and emergency (A&E) and maternity services at Lewisham.

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Low wages leave millions in poverty

MILLIONS of workers and their families are falling into desperate poverty because of low levels of wages — or even no wages — according to a reported published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation last week.

And now, excluding pensioners, the number of people in poverty even though at least one family member is working is greater than the number of people in poverty in families where no one is working.

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Thousands march for Gaza

AROUND 15,000 people last Saturday marched in London from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in south Kensington to show their solidarity with the beleaguered people of Gaza.

They marched in spite of atrocious weather and the fragile ceasefire reached after Israel’s latest bloody and brutal assault on the besieged and defenceless Palestinian territory.

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Domestic violence services cut

ONE-IN-FIVE domestic violence centres in Britain has had to cut services in the last year due to funding problems — despite many refuges already having to turn women away because they are full, according to figures published by Women’s Aid last week.

Currently in this country an incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every single minute. On average, two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

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Fighting NHS regional pay in Devon

TRADE Union members took to the streets last Tuesday in protest against proposals to introduce regional pay in the NHS yet again this week — this time braving freezing temperatures, heavy rain and floods to make their point.

And North Devon Councillor David Worden has tabled a motion against regional pay, which is due to be discussed tomorrow night, in which he calls the move a “grotesque reversal of Robin Hood”.

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John Lewis cleaners win pay rise

CLEANERS working for the high street retail chain John Lewis, who are members of the international Industrial Workers of the World union, last Friday, proudly announced their success in winning a nine per cent pay rise.

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Government tough on victims of crime

THE COMMUNICATION Workers’ Union (CWU) last week reacted angrily to the cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, saying that the Government has acted quickly to make the lives of victims of crime worse.

Cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) were pushed through the Delegated Legislation Committee on 1st November when the Government stuffed it full of MPs obliged to vote with the Government.

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Art is political!

by Anton Johnson

IN THE RUN-UP to the TUC demonstration last month, OUT Against Austerity paired up with the London Underground Film Festival to provide an opportunity for those attending the Speak OUT Against Austerity event at Unite House to see the screening of Hollow Bone by emerging Queer artist Hermes Pittakos. This striking film showcasing Hermes’ talents as a make-up artist impacted on the viewers, who could not help but reflect on the film’s sights as they made their way home on the bus.

Why did the organisers of Speak OUT Against Austerity arrange for people to be able to see Hermes’ film?

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1 per cent or 99 per cent?

Reviewed by Ray Jones

Revolutionary Democracy: Vol XVIII, No 1&2, April- September 2012.

£4 inc postage from NCP Lit, PO Box 73, London SW11 2PQ.

AGAIN Revolutionary Democracy spans the world in its coverage but this issue does concentrate on the complex and fascinating situation in India.

There is a large slab of theory from Rafael Martinez who looks at the economic roots of modern revisionism in Bogdanov and Bukharin. But it starts in the United States with a discussion on the Occupy movement. George Gruenthal raises the issue of the "One per cent verses the 99 per cent" slogan and the refusal of some in the movement to use class terms, thus causing possible political confusion.

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International News

Egyptians rally against Morsi“s decree

Xinhua news agency

EGYPTIAN people flooded Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on Tuesday to join a one million- strong rally rejecting the new constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsi last week.

The demonstration was called by a number of forces, including the 6th April movement, Revolutionary Youth Coalition, Free Egyptians Party, the Wafd Party and the Kefaya (Egyptian Movement for Change) along with other liberal and leftist groups.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Catalan election results put region on the road to independence

by Mark Moloney

SEPARATIST PARTIES topped the poll in Catalonia’s regional elections at the weekend. The incoming regional government will press ahead for a referendum on independence, against the wishes of the Spanish Government in Madrid.

The conservative nationalist Convergence and Union (CiU) party topped the poll as expected, but with a reduced vote compared to 2010. The party’s support fell eight per cent to 30.5 per cent, giving it 50 seats in the 135- seat parliament. The progressive Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) almost doubled its vote to 14 per cent and gained 11 seats to take 21 in total and become the second-largest force in the parliament.

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Arafat’s political autopsy

by Andrey Fediashin and Alexey Liakhov

THE GRAVE of Yasser Arafat, the former leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), was opened in Ramallah on the morning of 27th November.

The autopsy and tests of the Palestinian leader’s tissues should either confirm or disprove the rumours about his poisoning with radioactive polonium in 2004.

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The best medicine is not cure but prevention

Radio Havana Cuba

PEOPLE in Miami or elsewhere, who are accustomed to hearing only lies about Cuba as disseminated by the mainstream media to the point of intoxication, would be surprised to hear the news published recently by the Cuban daily Granma.

Beginning this past Tuesday, Cuba began a national vaccination campaign against seasonal flu for over half a million people, totally free of charge, as it is with every other health care service on the island.

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World’s tallest skyscraper to be built in China

AN 838 metres high skyscraper is going to be built in China. It will be not only the highest skyscraper in the world, but also a massive construction built in a record time.

The Sky City project is being implemented by the BROAD Sustainable Building Company (BSB), which is known for its buildings in the sky. BSB has recently built a 30 floor hotel in 15 days. This time, the company has decided to build a skyscraper in just 90 days. The work on the project will start in January 2013.

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Climate change puts Arctic in danger

by Paddy Colligan

AFTER superstorm Sandy we think “climate change”. It is back in the headlines. But people in the Arctic have been noticing changes and coping with them for many years.

Now, sharp shifts in weather are occurring in the Arctic, where ice and snow are an important part of life. These changes affect transportation and food, making life much more difficult for indigenous peoples in the North.

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The ocean of life of Nikolai Zubov

by Andrey Mikhailov

AMONG the founders of the State Oceanographic Institute, the first place belongs to Nikolai Zubov — Doctor of Geographical Sciences, Professor, Rear Admiral and Honoured Scientist of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. How did the son of a Czarist officer, a former lieutenant colonel in Kolchak’s White Guard Army manage to achieve such success in Soviet times?

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The CIA in Tibet

China-Tibet online

THE CENTRAL Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) involvement in channelling covert support to the Tibetan secessionists goes back to the mid-1950s.

The Dalai Lama was on the CIA’s payroll from the late 1950s until 1974.

The CIA conducted a large scale covert action campaign against Chinese government in Tibet starting in 1956. This led to an armed rebellion by some separatists in 1959, after which the Dalai Lama fled abroad.

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